|12 Monster Aussies, 2 frightfully elegant Pomerols and a FrankenMeehan Blend|
Photos: Mel Hill, Mark and Teresa Overberg
We decided to breeze into the Windy City aboard the Amtrak. We enjoyed our early morning train ride in, sipping on Heidsick and Monopoles '85 Diamant Bleu and munching on golden fried Caribe cheese wafers (The Atkins Cracker) with Crème Fraîche, chopped boiled egg and onion, and topped with Sevruga Caviar. We've done this before, and find it much more appetizing than the Amana Radar-Pastries and bottled latte that the dining car offers. The trick is avoiding the rueful stares of the less well-provisioned fellow passengers. As I munched, I mused on the irony that we were a couple of gangsters smuggling booze in to Chicago, and found myself wishing I had packed the wine in an empty violin case.
With a timely theme of Stellar Aussie Shiraz and rumors of Petrus, we were already hooked, but the proposed venue of Chicago's MK restaurant added to our excitement. MK is the celebrated restaurant of Chef and restaurateur Michael Kornick. Michael is a 1982 Culinary Institute of America graduate. He has worked with Barry Wine of the Quilted Giraffe in NY, and served as Chef at notable restaurants in New York, Boston, New Orleans and Chicago, receiving many awards and much critical acclaim for himself and his restaurants along the way. The setting of MK is a very tastefully and cleverly renovated paint factory in Chicago's exciting River North gallery district. Although we dined in the private dining facilities on the 2nd floor, we did spend some time upon arrival in the inviting lounge/reception area. It had a splendid view of the spacious but elegant dining area and loft. Business was booming. Not being shy, we chatted with a few of the lounge guests. The crowd was friendly, smart, good looking and had obvious good taste. We were directed upstairs to the private facility where we encountered a group of even finer folk.
97 Rochioli River Block Chardonnay 90 Charles Heidsick Champagne 81 Penfolds Grange 93 Penfolds Grange 94 Penfolds Bin 707 94 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz 94 AusVetia Shiraz 96 Clarendon Hills Astralis 96 Barossa Shiraz "The Malcolm" 96 Charles Melton Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 Parker Coonawarra Terrarossa First Growth 97 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 98 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 89 Chateau Gazin 94 Chateau Petrus 90 Sean Thackrey Taurus Mourvedre